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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power


Ser Drewy
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It attempts to tap into the power of that corpses underwater opening credits of The Vikings, which is very powerful, particularly due to the music and lyrics that score the sequence.

Everything we see seems to underscore the team hasn't a creative cell among them.

Edited by Zorral
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On 7/7/2022 at 11:22 AM, Darryk said:

On the other hand, YouTubers who were bashing Stranger Things after season 3 are praising the hell out of it this after this season.

I think the perception of series can change sometimes and that the top Youtubers will give credit where credit is due.

The problem with LOTR is whether it's good or bad, it has barely anything to do with Tolkien and that alone is a reason to dislike it. It's not right to use Tolkien's name for something that is so far removed from his writings.

I've heard mixed things about the Duffer Brothers--there was a controversy a few years ago about how they treated some of the crew, for example--but they do seem to have a basic level of humility about them, like when they admitted that they forgot Will's birthday. I get the impression they try to take negative reviews as constructive criticism (unlike a certain other showrunning duo *ahem*). From what I recall, ST4 was about ready to shoot when COVID hit, and they spent most of the pandemic basically rewriting and fine-tuning the scripts. Sometimes I think the Duffers lean a bit too heavily into fan feedback (all the meta jokes, the Steve Harrington Show, etc.) but they're clearly willing to learn from their mistakes. 

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26 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Scanning the comments on this thread, it seems to me there are are Tolkien fans who should live and let live and avoid this show maybe.

I almost certainly will. :lol:

26 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Unless being pissed off all the time makes you horny, then by all means help yourself. 

I'm very rarely actively upset at these shows. I suppose I get a little annoyed at something that has potential, then spirals into a generic CG fest that wouldn't be intellectually demanding on a toddler, and which then gets praised regardless because it's a familiar franchise and that's enough. I don't get annoyed that people themselves enjoy it - I get annoyed that this indiscriminate embrace of blatant laziness incentivizes studios to continuously produce that sort of material, which is definitely not for me.

There are still good shows out there. Better Call Saul occasionally stumbles, but is great. Succession is amazing. Barry had its best season. I really liked We Own This City. And of course there are many, many excellent books out there that do not treat their audience like they're victims of prolonged lead abuse.

But I do wish studios were not encouraged to be as lazy as possible and draw an audience purely by inflating their budget.

26 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

The trailer looks pretty good.

I suppose, in the sense that Jurassic World, Fast and Furious, and Uncharted have good trailers.

Edited by IFR
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Speaking as someone who loved all the movies but has only read a few of the books (I read The Hobbit and listened to the Fellowship audiobook), I thought the visuals and music for the trailer were both excellent. It really captured that sense of whimsy that made the movies so special. Though the dialogue is admittedly a bit cheesy.

I'm really excited to see young Elrond. Aside from playing young Ned, the actor also gave a terrific guest performance on Mindhunter as one of the serial killers. I have to hand it to Juilliard: they really do consistently churn out great actors.

I can understand the controversy around Galadriel, but the impression I get is that this show will show her evolution to becoming the elf we meet in Fellowship. I doubt she'll remain a sword-wielding warrior for the entire show.

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31 minutes ago, IFR said:

I suppose, in the sense that Jurassic World, Fast and Furious, and Uncharted have good trailers.

I haven't seen Uncharted. I've only seen bits of the other two.  None of those trailers  ever enticed me to see any of those films. Rings of Power looks interesting. 

If I think it's shit I'll make that determination when I see it. Fidelity to the source material or judgments about, according to some online commentary, this series, "disrespecting Tolkien" is irrelevant to me. If they can tell a good story make it entertaining, great. I'll take it. 

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27 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Fidelity to the source material or judgments about, according to some online commentary, this series, "disrespecting Tolkien" is irrelevant to me. If they can tell a good story make it entertaining, great. I'll take it. 

I absolutely agree with you. Fidelity is absolutely irrelevant if the show turns out good. 10 times out of 10 I will take a good show over a faithful show, if they must be mutually exclusive.

But this show isn't exactly shackled to anything. They have the rights to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and it takes place in the Second Age. It's just lore that they can align with. If they are making outrageous disruptions to lore for the purposes of their "story", it indicates to me that there may be a certain creative bankruptcy that is prompting it. Every thing that has been released to the public has seemed to indicate that the priority is on blockbuster spectacle, appealing to as broad a demographic as possible by being as sterile and inoffensive as can be achieved and challenging no one, and that the lowest priority is writing a world and characters that make sense - because that's not what draws the big audience apparently. Thunder and fury does.

But we will see. I think I have a sufficient sense of Amazon's aims that I feel comfortable predicting that this is not going to be good.

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I think the show looks pretty good visually-speaking, as it should with its budget. I don't react negatively to its use of VFX as a lot of it in this trailer seems to suggest that it's used for the big, sweeping locations and so on. It looks good to my eye, and I'm sure in 4K it'll be impressive (though I assume the CGI is rendered in 2k and then upscaled... then again, given the budget, maybe not?)

But I'm not planning to watch it, personally. The story its telling doesn't interest me. And while it looks good, it's certainly true that it's weirdly lazy in some ways. The Númenorean horsemen with horsetails on their helms look uncannily like the royal Rohirrim from LotR, and that just seems a bizarrely lazy choice.

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4 hours ago, Darryk said:

 

If the meteor man is Gandalf than it's such a lack of subtlety. "Look, see, this is why Gandalf likes hobbits so much, because they took care of him after he fell in the village!". No, Gandalf liked hobbits in LOTR cause he had the insight to see their inner strength when no one else would; we don't need you ruining it with some Disney Star Wars-esque unnecessary origin story.

The eye symbolism at the end there with the Meteor Man there does suggest that its Sauron after all I suspect.

I would like to have Gandalf in this show though, so I hope for it. Cause this trailer left me pretty cold, very little to get into there. 

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

that just seems a bizarrely lazy choice.

 

Thinking on it (and I did say it was lazy earlier- I do think the whole project is a lowest-common-denominator effort) I don't think it's lazy so much as unimaginative, and that's my problem with pretty much everything we've seen so far. As you say it looks perfectly competent in its construction, production decisions, CGI and general craft- but almost nothing about it, both in the bits that obviously visually nod to the movies and the bits that apparently seek to separate, suggest any kind of genuine invention or vision behind it. I know that's a little unfair coz a two minute trailer can't get across the full visual language that a creator will be going for, but you  can usually tell something. Especially since trailers usually pick out the most striking bits.

The one exception is that brief glimpse of the fiery disaster with corpses floating with swords through them and that. That's a neat shot. And maybe the birds circling the ship. But it's slim pickings.

 

And that would be disappointing enough if it was a project which I thought had some kind of genuine purpose or drive behind it in other respects than visual, but I feel like the whole thing is like this... built to put lots of money up on screen to get even more money back, but without an actual aim beyond that.

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I feel like my main problem with every thing I’ve seen so far is that it’s something aimed for mass appeal. As far as I know this show is based on the appendixes rather than the silmarillion, but I think I would be much more excited by a show that was frustratingly alienating to regular people.. like I found when attempting to read the silmarillion.. many times.

This feels like it should be something with a unique vision, something dense and mysterious.. but nah, it’s just the same old fantasy fare you’ll see everywhere else these days. 

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11 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

I am well and truly squeeing about this one. Unlike the previous, it actually feels like Middle-earth.

I'm pretty sure 2:01 is the Oath of Feanor in all its glory, while 1:12 is either a premonition of the Downfall of Numenor - or (as I think more likely) an underwater shot of corpses at the First Kinslaying.

It really really looks like we're going to see Mad Uncle Feanor. 

 

2:01 the crowd doesn’t look like Elves. It looks like cheering humans.  I don’t think that is the Oath of Fëanor.  I hate the time compression.  I hate it.  I hate that they are attempting this story with only the appendices.  

I have a very fanfiction feeling about this.  And for clarities sake… it is the story not the actors that troubles me.

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6 hours ago, Ran said:

The Númenorean horsemen with horsetails on their helms look uncannily like the royal Rohirrim from LotR, and that just seems a bizarrely lazy choice.

That kind of horsetail flourish on a helm goes back a long way. It's pretty common on cavalry helmets in Europe and the west. And their armor is very different to that of the Rohirrim.

5 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

Young Galadriel is no Cate Blanchett by the looks the trailer.  

Correct. A different actor plays her. :huh:

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I'm unlikely to watch this.  Though to be fair, I was interested enough to look at this thread.  I just don't see the appeal of a story where all the biggest beats are already known and there's not enough nostalgia to fill in the blanks.  Flaws of the Jackson movies aside, they did scratch a lot of itches.  Second Age, pretty much all bridge material canon wise.

If I hear the spectacle is amazing enough, I may look into it, but for all of Amazon's resources, couldn't they just hire 20 people to write a fresh fantasy epic and film the best two or three?   

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24 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

2:01 the crowd doesn’t look like Elves. It looks like cheering humans.  I don’t think that is the Oath of Fëanor.  I hate the time compression.  I hate it.  I hate that they are attempting this story with only the appendices.  

I have a very fanfiction feeling about this.  And for clarities sake… it is the story not the actors that troubles me.

It's not the cheering humans. It's the raising of swords.

They are licensing bits and pieces out of otherwise off-limit texts - hence the First Age material.

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14 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

I'm unlikely to watch this.  Though to be fair, I was interested enough to look at this thread.  I just don't see the appeal of a story where all the biggest beats are already known and there's not enough nostalgia to fill in the blanks.  Flaws of the Jackson movies aside, they did scratch a lot of itches.  Second Age, pretty much all bridge material canon wise.

It's not a mystery or an adventure. It's a twofold tragedy - the fall of Eregion and Numenor. Like Oedipus Rex, you know how things will end - the point is the emotions of watching the Fall.  

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15 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

It's not the cheering humans. It's the raising of swords.

They are licensing bits and pieces out of otherwise off-limit texts - hence the First Age material.

I just watched it at super slow speed.  The open dome with stars above as they raise their swords… yeah… that could be the “Oath of Fëanor” and his sons… but it seems weird that they appear to be in uniform.

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4 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

It's not a mystery or an adventure. It's a twofold tragedy - the fall of Eregion and Numenor. Like Oedipus Rex, you know how things will end - the point is the emotions of watching the Fall.  

Ok there's that that the journey itself is the adventure.  But why do I care about Eregion or Numenor?  What characters I care about connect to that?  Galadriel and Elrond a bit maybe.  Obv there are plenty of elves that are still around at the end of the third age, but where's the hook?  You know far better than I, but seems like JRRT wrote mostly about 1st and 3rd age and mostly yadda yadda'd the second age. 

Which does raise a question: at which point does Elrond come to understand that Olorin is his, for lack of a better word, boss in the hierarchy of middle earth?  Elrond finished the first age feeling like the bee's knees.  Knocked Sauron down a shit ton of pegs at the end of second age.  He and Elros had the most divine bloodline of anyone in ME. But somehow he's pretty much deferring to Gandalf when the fellowship launches. 

For me, if the amazon show gets more people to read LotR and the Hobbit then good on them.   But  I prefer the source material.

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3 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

It's not a mystery or an adventure. It's a twofold tragedy - the fall of Eregion and Numenor. Like Oedipus Rex, you know how things will end - the point is the emotions of watching the Fall.  

Not for nothing, but I don't know any of this. 

When in doubt, spoiler tags please. :D

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